You’ve probably heard this advice ever since you could listen to the dial-up modem handshake: Protect your passwords. We do almost everything online, from banking to visiting the doctor. That’s why password protection is crucial to protect your privacy. These five tips will keep your internet identity secure.
- Use a different password for everything.Never use the same password for different accounts. A 2019 survey suggests that 64% of internet users use the same password for some or all of their accounts. Hackers are smart and know these statistics. They know if you’re using a password for one website, it’s likely you’re using that password for other accounts. It’s imperative to use a unique password for every site and account.
- Use a password manager application.Because we do everything online from going to school and work to doing our taxes, using a unique password for everything might feel impractical. However, it’s not impossible if you’re using a password manager tool. These password managers create strong, unique passwords and then store them for you. You only have to remember one password to access your password manager. These applications typically sync across mobile and desktop, so you’ll have access anywhere you go.
- Be silly.When you’re creating your own passwords, don’t use any kind of personal information like a pet’s name or birthdate. Instead, make up a random, silly sentence that has no significance in your real life. Think of a phrase or sentence that is nearly nonsense, like “The lamp likes to eat blue tomato cake” and create a password from that phrase by adding numbers, special characters, and random capital letters throughout.
Password protection becomes even more robust when you stop using any real words at all. This is where a password manager becomes extra useful because it will suggest secure passwords for you.
Set up two-factor authentication.
- Many secure websites are offering this added security layer for their users, requiring two factors to verify your identity when logging on. Two-factor authentication usually requires a password and a second security measure for confirmation. This may come in the form of a text to your mobile phone, or the website could be using a biometric element like a fingerprint or facial recognition. For powerful password protection, always opt for two-factor authentication.
- Stop changing your password.This might be the best news on this list: Don’t change your password every three months. This myth makes us less secure in the long run. As long as you’re using a password manager and a safe, hard-to-guess password to begin with, there’s no reason to update your password so frequently. The less often you update or change your password, the less likely you’ll forget it, and the less likely you’ll fall into a pattern that makes your password easier to crack.
Password protection is your first line of defense against hackers. Preserve the safety of your digital life by following some or all of these five tips. For more information on protecting your online identity, call Catapult Tech Solutions at 317-522-1299.
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